Tuesday, December 20, 2005

David Gershwin and Ana Guerrero

I have named David Gershwin my new chief of staff. And to Ana Guerrero, whom I named Deputy Chief of Staff in July of this year, I have given the responsibility of Director of Council Relations.

I've known David since 1998, when we were active in local politics together. He carries a wealth of experience both in this building and as a proven leader of community organizations.

He's currently the Director of Government Relations for The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (he will join my staff in late January). He joined The Jewish Federation from the Los Angeles office of the MWW Group, where he oversaw media relations and strategic communications planning. Before that, he served as Director of Communications for Alex Padilla when he served as Council President, so he'll be great to have by my side as I take the President's chair in January. In addition to setting an example for political communications here, he also did great work for Councilmember Padilla on the issue of San Fernando Valley secession and other legislative issues. I'm eager to have him help me set and execute my agenda.

Ana Guerrero, of course, is known to many readers of my blog, and she has left an indelible imprint on the improvements we have been making together with the residents of CD13. She's been a leader on my staff and in the communities I represent since my first day in office. A constant friend and a critical advisor, she has helped me renew the neighborhoods of Council District 13. As my Director of Council Relations, she is going to bring this same talent and energy to work with my council colleagues. My vision for the presidency is to promote each councilmember's legislative priorities in order to produce a collective vision for Los Angeles, and Ana will help me make this happen.

Ana's experience is perfect for this challenge. Before her work in CD13, she was a well-known community organizer. She served as the lead organizer of UNO, the United Neighborhoods Organization of Los Angeles, running a campaign with them that naturalized 5,000 new citizens. She organized, with my partner Amy Wakeland, the Progressive Los Angeles Network, which brought dozens of thinkers, activists and leaders from Los Angeles together to collaborate on policy proposals that are still being used and enacted today. But most of all, she's demonstrated unparalleled tenacity, creativity and finesse in leading my district operation, and, during my search for a new chief of staff, being my right-hand woman.

I'll update you in a post tomorrow about some other exciting developments in my staff, especially in my field operation. For today, welcome, David, and congratulations, Ana.